Saudi Arabia on September 16 announced the discovery of a large number of human and mammal footprints in Tabuk province, the northwestern country.
A footprint of mature Homo sapien people at Lake Alathar. Photo: Saudi Culture Ministry.
Footprints dating back about 120,000 years ago were found in the ancient Alathar lake that is now dry in the Nefud Desert. The Heritage Committee of the Saudi Culture Ministry said it had confirmed the footprints of seven modern humans (Homo sapien), 107 camels and 43 elephants.
In addition to the footprints, the team also discovered 233 fossil bones of elephants and antelopes, as well as traces related to wild goats, deer, cows, hippos and predators around the lake.
“This astonishing archaeological discovery represents the first scientific evidence of the oldest human existence in Saudi Arabia, while also offering a rare glimpse of the natural and multifaceted environment.